Friday, August 26, 2005

Dawn Greets the Son-Worshiper

"I knew when I was in 4th grade that I was gay. I don’t know how the thought got into my mind—whether by men, by the devil or by myself, but it was there and I simply knew it."

Nathan Sheets may not be the only Christian ex-gay blogger. But I think it's safe to say that, with New Love in the Son, he's the newest. And I know that with his bravery, candor, and wisdom that belies his years (he's only 20), he's up there with the best of them.

He writes in one entry that "the goal of the ex-gay is not to become straight, but rather to become holy."

Further on, he says:

I used to believe that I was going to have to be single my whole life, and I was OK with that. But since my repentance and devotion to being holy (not straight!) I have experienced a rather unexpected healing from Jesus! Many ex-gays don't think they can ever be straight--they might be thinking, "Nathan, you don't know me, there's no way I can ever be straight." I used to think the same way when a mentor of mine dared to suggest total freedom to me! Now I find myself moving rapidly in the direction of getting married, and wanting to get married! Blessed be the name of the Lord!
I believe that anyone who has overcome a seemingly insurmountable affliction through faith in the Lord's healing power—including addiction or depression—can relate to Nathan's hope and his zeal for spreading the word.

On his main blog, he offers "The Gospel for Gay People, fully rejecting the happy-clappy, keep-on-truckin', name-it-and-claim-it attitude that passes for evangelism in many churches:
The Good News never changes. This Good News is this:
You are a law-breaker.

Because you are a law-breaker, you are going to hell.

But because Adonai loves you, there's a way to get out of Hell.

Repent and believe in the name of His Son, Yeshua, and you will be saved.
That is the Gospel. Notice that the Good News is not "Jesus loves you, come to Him" or "He will give you peace, come to Him." I hate it when Christians say that to non-Christians. If we tell Christians how to be saved before they realize they need to be saved, they will come to Messiah under false ideas!
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1), but "how then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:14).

We were not made to live in guilt and shame. Guilt and shame are gifts that are meant to show us the gap between who we are and who we can and should be in the Lord. They're not a resting place, but they're a necessary springboard in order for us to reach higher things.
For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! (2 Corinthians 7:10-11)
I don't long for the kind of self-pitying, hopeless sorrow that Paul describes as "the sorrow of the world" that "produces death." But there are many times when I wish I had more "godly sorrow."

Every time I realize the distance between myself and God, however much it distresses me, it ultimately brings me a greater understanding and closeness to Him. I thank Nathan Sheets for reminding me of this, and for his courage in publicly revealing his own prayerful efforts to become holy.